International Men’s Day- Philippi Village
After the success of our last partnership, the Legends Barbarshop mobile unit once again provided free haircuts to men who tested for HIV on the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation’s “Amajita Tutu Truck”. The partnership saw a total of 50 men using the services of the mobile truck aimed at men.
Legends barber, Kevin Gordon, said it was a cool initiative to be part of, “The amount of people who came today shows that it’s worth it”. Aphelele Mtengwana, 18, said he decided to visit the truck because he saw it’s branding on the truck – “I saw the haircuts and the sign saying it was for men, so I checked it out. Usually I wouldn’t get tested, ‘cause the clinics are far away and busy.”
The Amajita Tutu Truck be targets predominantly young men (15-35) who tend to avoid health clinics where there is often a long wait for an HIV test. It joins the Desmond Tutut HIV Foundation’s other mobile trucks, the Tutu Tester, Tutu Teen Truck, and Tutu Kwik Testers.
DTHF Coordinator, Ndumiso Madubela, says the priority of the Amajita Tutu Truck is to engage men as a population that is not being adequately reached. “When we asked men in our communities what would make them get tested, they said if it was fast, convenient and free.”
Madubela says the attendance of the event is a great sign that men can be persuaded to take a more active role in their health. “We saw a a lot of young men today, between 15 and 35, which is exactly what we want. This group is at higher risk for HIV and they are reluctant to visit clinics and get tested. But Men shouldn’t be passive participants, only knowing their status through their partners. They should take action and know where they stand.”
Legends Barbarshop are taking South African communities by storm. The DTHF is delighted to be working with them again to reduce HIV infection and is deeply grateful for their support.